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ENTERPRISING EXCHANGE ACCADEMY (EEA)

Enterprise Exchange Academy

Teaching the entrepreneurs of the future

The European Union needs new entrepreneurs for its economy and its society to thrive. Young business people need to be encouraged, developed and supported, and the sooner an interest in enterprise can be awakened the better. The Enterprise Exchange Academy project was devised to start that process in schools, seeking to enhance the teaching of enterprise in regions of the UK and Poland to students in the 14-15 and 16-18 age groups. The project is seen as a catalyst and springboard for the continuing development of enterprise teaching in the UK and Polish education systems.

Enterprise Exchange Academy is a Business Growth element in the INTERREG 3C GROW programme, dealing with the culture of entrepreneurship. It supports wider EU goals of developing sustainable economic activity through education and innovation, while also contributing building blocks for greater social inclusion.

The project comprises five partners from the UK and Poland, and is led by Business Link Solutions (UK). Its key activities are teacher enterprise workshops and student enterprise workshops for the two age groups in each country. The workshops are run in schools in the Thames Valley region of the UK and the Krakow area of Poland for two groups of young people, aged 14-15 and 16-17. These test out materials designed to teach young people potentially interested in creating new businesses to understand better the skills and processes involved. They are also taught to recognise their own attributes and how these could best be developed.

The key result is that 120 young people have been given the opportunity to improve their enterprise knowledge and skills. The learning materials used in the project are available for delivery to all schools, providing a unique resource to allow more youngsters to benefit.

A critical part of the workshops for the younger age group is the teaching of techniques to encourage creativity, which results in students producing innovative ideas with the potential to develop. Both sets of workshops include training on how to develop an idea through market analysis and financial profiling and on articulating an idea effectively to an audience.

“We are delighted that when the young people completed evaluation sheets after each workshop their comments were positive,” said Anthony Inga of Business Link Solutions. “The feedback indicated that what the project had been trying to achieve for the participants had been achieved.”

Looking ahead, the project’s workshop materials will be made available to all schools in the Thames Valley and will be promoted through the National Education business Partnership Network to other areas of the UK. Learning from the pilot will guide further projects to improve start-up training and support for young people in the partner regions and beyond.

“The key result is that 120 young people have been given the opportunity to improve their enterprise knowledge and skills.”

Contact:

Anthony Inga

Business Link Solutions

Eastern Bypass, Thame, Oxford, OX9 3RR

Tel: +44 (0)1844 210 453

Email: anthony.inga@businesslinksolutions.co.uk